Once again France has stepped in to remedy access problems caused by British budget air carrier easyJet. In response to a criminal complaint filed by Joseph Etcheveste, last month a French court fined the air carrier €60,000 for their failure to allow the plaintiff to board his 2010 flight from Biarritz. Mr. Etcheveste is a wheelchair-user who was traveling unaccompanied, and according to easyJet, that was a “security problem”.
Of course this isn’t the first time that easyJet has denied passage to a lone wheeler; in fact it’s their standard policy that if you can’t walk unassisted to the emergency exit, then you can’t travel unaccompanied.
And it’s not the first time a French court has ruled against the air carrier either. In January 2012 easyJet was also fined €70,000 by a French court, on behalf of three disabled passengers who were denied boarding.
Yet the airline still continues this discriminatory practice.
So be forewarned, steer clear of easyJet if you use a wheelchair, as you won’t get very far; in fact you probably won’t even get on the plane.
Kudos to France for doing what the Brits refuse to do — stand up to blatant discrimination.